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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just got an 05 Element EX with AWD, 5MT, and 79k mi. Love it, but I may (or may not) have a problem. On a road trip this past weekend, I started to notice a strange noise when accelerating onto the NYS Thruway. In 2nd and 3rd gear it sounds like 2 metal plates grinding together (or like dirty brakes) when accelerating. It's loud enough to be a concern. It doesn't happen when accelerating very slowly, and if I stomp the gas while in any gear (except 1st), it makes the sound. At first I thought it was the air intake, but it doesn't sound like a "pshhh." It definitely sounds like rubbing dirty metal plates together. I do have power, though, so I don't think the clutch is slipping. But I really don't know. It also only makes the sound when in gear. Revving the engine does not reproduce the sound.

I replaced the rear differential fluid the day I got the car, so that is brand new. I also notice that I have to really floor the clutch when shifting into 2nd gear, or it pops out when I let the clutch up.

Any ideas what's going on?
 

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2007 Element EX TRP
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The metal sound might come from your exhaust heat shields. I have had a similar sound on another vehicle (according to your description) and it was just loose covers. The exhaust system has several, attached to the body as well as the exhaust system itself (sorry didn't find a photo). It's an easy fix if that's the problem, if not, you checked your exhaust system over carefully. ;-):):razz::razz:

Good luck!! :taz:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The metal sound might come from your exhaust heat shields. I have had a similar sound on another vehicle (according to your description) and it was just loose covers. The exhaust system has several, attached to the body as well as the exhaust system itself (sorry didn't find a photo). It's an easy fix if that's the problem, if not, you checked your exhaust system over carefully. ;-):):razz::razz:

Good luck!! :taz:
Thanks. I did look and found 2 loose heat shields. The manifold firewall heat shield, and the converter shield. I fixed them both, but the sound is still there.

It is like a shhhha-shha-sha (it sounds almost like if you spread open your fingers on your hands and rub your palms together in a fast circular motion) that happens only in 2nd and 3rd gear when I accelerate hard, or uphill and reach 2000 rpm. It's a "airy" metalic sound. Not a pinging or clanking.

Could it be a torque converter or something like that? I replaced the MT fluid, and the rear diff. fluid as well. Also, no obvious signs of anything broken or ripped or leaking.
 

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also sounds like you should tighten your shift cables.
i had to have mine done around 75k as i had the same issue as you.
i was worried that it was the clutch. thankfully not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think I may have found the problem. Not sure. One of the bolts that connects the exhaust manifold to the converter is missing. It also caused the heat shield to become loose. I think the sound may be coming from exhaust pipe separation.
 

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2008 Element EX AWD TRP
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If that isn't it, take a closer look at the heat shields. Some of the mounting flanges on mine rusted and snapped. They looked tight, but when the engine was revved the shields would vibrate. Good news is that replacement shields are inexpensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If that isn't it, take a closer look at the heat shields. Some of the mounting flanges on mine rusted and snapped. They looked tight, but when the engine was revved the shields would vibrate. Good news is that replacement shields are inexpensive.
That was the problem. I found a 2 inch long 1/2 in. hex head bolt and some washers to replace what was missing, cranked it down tight, and the sound is gone. The manifold heat shield mounts are toast, so I tightened the manifold heat shield down with a large, creatively placed hose clamp. I'd have to replace the manifold to make everything like new, and I just don't want to do that right now, so these fixes should buy me some time.
 

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That was the problem. I found a 2 inch long 1/2 in. hex head bolt and some washers to replace what was missing, cranked it down tight, and the sound is gone. The manifold heat shield mounts are toast, so I tightened the manifold heat shield down with a large, creatively placed hose clamp. I'd have to replace the manifold to make everything like new, and I just don't want to do that right now, so these fixes should buy me some time.
I made a temporary fix like you did, then found out that except for the manifold, converter, muffler, and sensor, most of the exhaust parts and fasteners are relatively inexpensive. Using springs and flexible joint bolts (#8 and #9) where originally installed instead of basic bolts and washers will help extend life of the expensive parts as well as reducing noise. (illustrations and parts from majestic.com's site. Most of the prices at my local Honda dealer are between list and majestic's prices (it helps to give all your business to one dealer :) )
 

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